Online Dating Service: Poised for Growth


Online dating helps individuals, couples and groups to contact and communicate with each other over the Internet through the use of computer or cell phone. The dating industry is one of the most competitive industries online and there are plenty of dating sites available and invariably all of them require members to provide personal information and also photographs to register successfully. Some of the online dating sites offer free registration while some charge fee. Major online dating sites are Lavalife, Yahoo! Personals, Match.com, American Singles, Udate and FriendFinder. These sites give members full access to the database. Some offer optional tests, quizzes or guides to assist members in their search


Over the past few years internet dating has emerged as an attractive audience for marketers especially in financial services, job search, and health clubs space. As per a survey by Forrester, more than half of internet daters have paid for a subscription to a dating site, and they are also active in recommending products to others. Internet daters are young and very comfortable with technological aspects of a dating site.

One interesting development in online dating space is use of social networking sites by users. Internet daters are generally very active on the net.


Ongoing recessionary condition has taken a heavy toll on all manner of industries but online dating has virtually remained immune from adverse economic environment. In fact people across the globe show more interest towards web dating, which might give them some relaxation from their pressure. Such is the level of confidence of players in this sector that FriendFinder registered an IPO worth $460 mn to fuel its growth plans. Dating sites such as Youand.me,  eHarmony.com and Match.com have experienced record registrations of late and interestingly recorded highest traffic on days the stock markets plummeted. One reason for this anomaly can be troubled times can have a big effect on people's desire to be in relationships.


Some of the issues facing dating sites include:

  •  

Majority of singles sites keep profiles for months on end since the last time the person has logged in, apparently to inflate number of users in database

  • General lack of trust with other members as they might lie about their personal information
  • Some profiles posted on dating sites may not represent actual daters, but are fake ones to attract new paying members
  • Misuse of personal information of users
  • The sex ratio is commonly unbalanced on most of the dating sites  membership is about 58% female and 42% male
  • The appeal of such dating sites is within the age group 20-50, thus limiting market potential

Despite all these issues the dating industry is poised to grow in the years to come. Increasing number of traffic to singles sites would ensure more advertising and subsequently low fee for users. The industry is highly crowded at present and we might see consolidation in near future. Emerging economies such as China, India and Russia also offer great potential to service providers.